Email outreach is tough. At times, going through a list of email targets can be monotonous and frustrating. Lack of response and people simply not taking you up on your request are the two biggest causes of said frustration. Plus, the work can seem dull and impersonal if you let it be that way.
I had great success on my last outreach campaign. I contacted 31 bloggers. 25 have replied with a yes. 3 no. I’m still hoping to hear back from a few. I attribute the success of this campaign by carefully crafting my outreach list and because of my use of associated egobait.
Associated Egobait? What the hell is that? First, let’s start with good old-fashioned regular egobait.
What is Egobait?
Egobait is a popular form of linkbait or clickbait. Essentially, it comes down to these main two techniques.
- Get other writers involved on your website (crowdsourced egobait).
- Write about someone else or their opinions in a flattering way (egobait flattery). Interviews can fall into this category.
In technique number one, you simply get a variety of authors to contribute to your blog post. Such as I did in this post. Not my greatest post, but guess what? It has received the most tweets and comments of any post that I have posted on this blog. Why? Because everyone nice enough to contribute also shared it on their social networks. Why did they share it? Because they were involved. They participated in it. Simple as that.
Some better examples of crowdsourced egobait include posts like:
- 21 SEO Leaders Share Their Best SEO Career Advice
- 18 Startup Founders Share Their Lowest Moments
- 24 SEO Experts Discuss Links vs Tweets
In technique number two, you create a post that praises someone else or their ideas. Complements all around. People love to share something that talks about how great they are or how great their company is.
Some examples of egobait flattery include:
- Selling a Design by the Thousands (hat tip to Nick Eubanks for recommending a link)
- Alessio’s Meet Your SEO series
- Content Muse’s Interview with Chris Winfield
If you’re looking for more information on egobait, I recommend you check out this nice post written by James Agate on Point Blank SEO. Also, I agree with Gaz’s opinion that the term and idea of egobait can sound pretty crappy.
Alright, but egobait is for content creation. This post is about outreach. Let’s get back on topic.
What is Associated Egobait?
Associated egobait is when you flatter a blogger through association with a more powerful and influential blogger. Comparing a blogger to one of their own personal favorite bloggers is a sure-fire way to flatter them.
How to Use Associated Egobait in Your Next Outreach Campaign
Find Influencers You’ve Worked With in Past
Reach out to the People They Influence
Find one of the most influential bloggers that you’ve worked with in the past. Someone who has reviewed or supported your product, service or website at one time. Ideally, find someone you worked with over 6 months ago. This has allowed them to significantly develop and grow their audience and gives you the appearance of being an old friend.
Associate Egobait Example
Let’s give a fictional example. Let’s say that Eppie Vojt decided he wants to get some SEO bloggers to review his fantastic tool Link Detective. Now imagine that a popular blogger like John Doherty reviewed this tool on his blog some months ago when it was new.
Eppie can now use the power of associated egobait to easily score reviews of his product. All he needs to do is this:
- Visit John’s Blog and see who is commenting on his most recent posts.
- Scrape the blog comment URLs.
- Prune the list for your own requirements (blog popularity, DA, whatever you like)
- Contact each blogger with a pitch like my example below. (For this example, we’re going to assume that I was among the recent commenters on John’s blog and that Eppie and I don’t know each other)
Hey Anthony,My name is Eppie and I’m the creator of Link Detective. I found your blog from a recent comment on John Doherty’s blog and I wanted to reach out with a quick offer. First, if you are unfamiliar with Link Detective, I’ll share a few quick things about it.
- It quickly analyzes a backlink profile and categorizes them into link types (blogroll, sidebar, comment, directory, etc)
- There are both free and paid levels for users to enjoy
- Makes quick and easy charts for you to share with clients
- Easily filter links to help with link removal if you are dealing with a penalized site
Anyway, John’s been one of my favorite bloggers for quite some time and he reviewed Link Detective a while ago on his blog. Check out his review here.I’d like to propose a similar offer to you. I’d like to let you try Link Detective out. If you enjoy it (or don’t enjoy it), I’m hoping you’ll decide to share it on your blog. There are no strings attached, I just thought you would be interested in the tool and would enjoy giving it a shot. If you do decide to write about it, I expect you to fully disclose that you got free access to the tool.I hope to hear back from you soon.
Associated Egobait Psychology
The blogger you email has two choices. They can say yes or no to your pitch.
They can take you up on your offer, cementing their newfound perception that chart two is actually the more accurate chart. In the process, some of their readers also may believe they are more awesome than they thought and this new chart becomes somewhat of a reality.
If they decline your offer, they will still feel a little better about their blog than they did in chart one, but they won’t be able to fully validate the perceived awesomeness/popularity they felt in chart two, at least not externally.
I’ve been using this technique for quite some time and have always had amazing results.
This is an extremely scalable form of outreach. If you look at the example outreach email above, you will see that it is not very personalized at all. The method of being found, the shared connection and the pitch will be the same for everyone. All that needs to be changed is the name in the opening line.
Create a nice sized outreach list of targets. You can get these sent off quickly and you will have a great response rate.
When that’s done, move on to another influencer you’ve worked with. Now target their influencers.
What Types of Outreach Will This Work For?
My 80% success rate (and my example above) is from an outreach campaign pitching a free product to try. Free products always result in a better response rate. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use this technique for other forms of outreach.
- Mashable posted this infographic and I think you should too.
- Wil Reynolds linked to my post and I thought you might want to reference it in this post of yours as well.
- Did you see my post that Rand tweeted? Perhaps it would be a good resource on your similar post.
- Use this technique with commenters on a blog, not with the blogs listed on their blog roll. People included on a blog roll already feel as if they are or are on the same level as the the original influencer you worked with.
- This technique isn’t about tricking someone into reviewing your product or linking to your site. This is about increasing your chances of starting a mutually beneficial relationship between two sites.
The Premise is Simple
Establish a mutual connection with a popular blogger or website you’ve previously collaborated with. Pitch your offer to the people they influence. They will be flattered you asked.